“Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NLT)
On February 26, 2014, as I was heading into class to finish my senior year of college, I received a phone call from my dad. He proceeded to say that my mom was being sent to the hospital, that I should drop what I was doing and head to Lapeer General. I did. My mind wondered the whole way there.
I vividly remember walking into the family waiting area, giving my dad and three sisters a hug, and then asking what happened. My mom’s friend, Mrs. Kaiser was also there and she told me. She had gone into septic shock.
You see, my mom was in the process of figuring out why she was having trouble going to the bathroom and why she was losing so much weight. She had gone to the doctor’s office that morning for an enema so she could have a colonoscopy. As we stood there waiting, my mind speculated even more. Finally, the doctor walked into the room. The doctor, with a confused look on her face, told us that my mom had died. The enema she had received earlier that day broke her colon and she died from septic poison.
I stood in silence as tears started to well up in my eyes. My sisters wailed in disbelief. My dad did everything he could to try and comfort his children. I walked into the room where my mom’s body was lying and held her hand for the last time. I thought and felt so many emotions. Death had rocked our family. It devastated us. As my time with her was wrapping up, I remember thinking to myself, “How on Earth am I going to move on without her?”
If you have experienced death in your family, has anyone ever told you that it is time to move on from the deceased? Whether it is six months, a year, or five years after they have passed, it is not easy. This bit of advice is pretty common in our world. I have heard quite a lot of people advise my dad that it is time he moves on from my mom. Maybe someone has said this to you. They have said that you just need to “move on.” Even though their intentions might be pure, that bit of advice is garbage. We should not move on “from” the ones we love, but we should move on “with” the ones we love. You need to change the preposition!
Whoever you have lost, that person is still present in your mind. That person helped shape exactly who you are and continues to do so. Do not arbitrarily try to leave all of those memories in the past. Continue to move on “with” them. Allow everything that they taught you to continue to make your life better. Finally, be encouraged in this hope:
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NLT)